Saturday, 13 March 2010

Coast Guard requests seven choppers

by Joel E. Zurbano
Manila Standard

THE Coast Guard wants to buy seven helicopters and more equipment worth P5 billion to reinforce it capabilities in securing the country’s 36,000-kilometer coastline under the newly approved modernization law.

Commandant Wilfredo Tamayo said the proposal to buy new choppers, using a combination of soft loans and grants, was submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee, the Cabinet-level body that will approve the plan.

The Coast Guard needs to buy the helicopters fast, which will be used to save lives in sea mishaps, that Neda would have to fast track its approval, Tamayo said.

Apart from paying for the choppers, the money will pay for equipment, spare parts and pilot training. “We will build our hangars, and have our new aircrafts stationed in Northern Luzon, Manila, Romblon, Mactan, Laguindingan, Davao and Palawan,” he said.

The acquisition would be programmed to happen in phases within two years. “We are looking for the best package and the better loan interest to maximize our investments,” he said, adding that the financial side of the project would be made final after the Neda-ICC approval.

Tamayo earlier said his agency would need more boats to patrol the coastal waters and for search and rescue operations. The Coast Guard also plans to hire 25,000 men and women in a 10-year program from 2010 to beef up its 6,000 employees in securing the country’s 5,000 coastal barangays and 60 coastal provinces.

After Malacañang’s approved Republic Act 9993, or the Coast Guard Law, last month, the agency now has a better chance of ensuring a safe, clean, and secure maritime environment, Tamayo said.

1 comment:

  1. sana rin magacquire din sila ng mga frigate n ship or mga cyclone class n ship para atleast d cla dedepend s navy foe counter terrorism or s mga pirates.....khit mga second hand aus n un..wag lng focus s sar ship....